Driving the SS125 into the heart of Barbagia

Updated on Jan 17, 2017 by Kathryn Burrington

Blog > Driving the SS125 into the heart of Barbagia

With hairpin bends and stunning mountain views the drive along the winding SS125 is one to remember.

One of the most memorable parts of my last visit to Sardinia was the spectacular scenery driving from Santa Maria Navarrese, along the SS125, to Dorgali and then on to Oliena, near the town of Nuoro, in the heart of the Barbagia region. Louise was driving and I was navigating but I did sit in the back seat for a while with my camera set on a very fast shutter speed to try and capture the views as well as the many bikers zooming past us.


Driving the SS125 in Sardinia

The SS125, a popular route for motorbikes

Louise driving through one of the open-sided tunnels on our Sardinia road trip


Su Gologone, Oliena

Awaiting us at the end of the drive was a superb (and very large) meal at our hotel, Su Gologone, which I can honestly describe as one of the most charming hotels I’ve ever stayed in.

Our lovely waitress, Romina, chose a wonderful selection of delicacies for us including ricotta souffle, the local cream cheese, vrughe, cold meats and, of course, some pane carasau – the thin, flat, crispy bread invented for shepherds to carry with them when they stayed a long time away from home. I’m told it will last many months without going off if kept dry.

This alone would have been enough but that was just the beginning, as more dishes appeared. The highlight of the meal though was without doubt the roast suckling pig, a traditional Sardinian speciality, cooked on an open fire in the restaurant, washed down with a glass (or two) of a fine local red wine, Nepente, made from Cannonau grapes.

Sadly, we were only there the one night and were off early in the morning but the memory of the beautiful scenery on the journey there and the delightful hotel itself, will linger.

Local crafts on sale at Su Gologone, Oliena


Autumn in Barbagia

The mountainous interior of Sardinia known as Barbagia, is one of the least populated areas of Europe, and as such, has been able to preserve both its ancient traditions and the wild, natural beauty of its landscape. If you are visiting Sardinia in the Autumn then be sure to check out Autumn in Barbagia, an annual celebration of the region’s traditions, arts and crafts and gastronomy, that moves from one village to another, including Oliena, throughout September to December each year.


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